Archive for August 15th, 2016

Najib should explain his real relationship with Jho Low in the 1MDB global kleptocratic scandal instead of spreading canard that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam

Instead of spreading canards that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam, it would be more useful and productive for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to explain his real relationship with the billionaire Jho Low in the 1MDB scandal which had overnight catapulted Malaysia into the stratosphere of a global kleptocracy with the single largest US and global action by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

Or does Najib think that his expensive 1MDB caper was in the interests of upholding the rights, interests and glory of Malays and Islam in Malaysia?

In which case, let Najib state clearly who was making use of whom in the 1MDB scandal – Jho Low making use of Najib or Najib making use of Jho Low?

Who was taking who for a ride?

Was Jho Low the “mastermind” of the 1MDB global financial scandal, resulting in his named as one among the five persons, including Najib’s son-in-law, Hollywood film producer Riza Aziz, as defendants in the DOJ lawsuits to forfeit more than US$1 billion in assets, including about US$150 million of residential properties in New York and Los Angeles as well as several works of art, out of some US$3.5 billion stolen, embezzled, misappropriated and money-laundered from 1MDB funds, or was Najib the “mastermind” resulting in the reference to “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” 36 times in the 136-page DOJ complaint? Read the rest of this entry »


Swiss probe ex-Abu Dhabi official over alleged Malaysia fund scam

Michael Peel and Simeon Kerr
Financial Times
15th August 2016

Swiss criminal authorities are probing a well-connected former top Abu Dhabi finance official over an alleged international conspiracy to embezzle money from Malaysia’s 1MDB wealth fund.

Investigators suspect Khadem al-Qubaisi, ex-head of the Emirati government’s International Petroleum Investment Company, of fraud, money laundering and corruption, according to a letter seen by the Financial Times.

Mr Qubaisi has long been regarded as close to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, owner of Manchester City football club and brother of Sheikh Khalifa, ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of United Arab Emirates. Read the rest of this entry »

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The dangers of Pokémon Go: Kids’ brains are vulnerable to virtual and augmented reality

AUG 12, 2016

Immersive and interactive games that are fine for adults can cause a blurring of reality in younger users

A few weeks back I was sent a link to an article about Pokémon Go—the latest craze that has been sweeping not only our native Manhattan, but seemingly the entire country. The person who had sent me the article thought I’d be interested in this latest tech development because of my work: I’m a psychologist and professor who specializes in treating addiction and working with adolescents; and I had just written a book called “Glow Kids,” which explores some of the uncomfortable clinical realities of too much screen time.

Two days later I was sent yet another link. This latest article from a major national newspaper waxed poetic about kids and the new Pokémon craze. According to that article, Pokémon Go is a parent’s dream, a video game holy grail: a game that actually got kids up off the couch and outside exploring and interacting with the real world—albeit while staring at a screen and pursuing an illusory augmented reality hologram.

That small detail aside, I had to ask myself: well, is this the game that finally proves the screen alarmists wrong? After all, kids are going outside to play the game and collaborating with others to find clues in their digital scavenger hunts. Aren’t those good things? In that same pro Pokémon Go article, a child and adolescent psychologist interviewed for the piece, was quoted saying “it gets kids out in the world and promotes socialization. It seems that kids are using it as a tool to connect to each other and the world around them.”

All that sounds perfectly reasonable, but my research and clinical work indicates otherwise. If you’re a child or pre-teen, there may be a price to pay. To be clear: If you’re an adult, have at it! Pokémon Go to your heart’s content; wander the streets looking for the little augmented reality buggers. Just be careful you don’t walk into oncoming traffic or light posts, but Pokémon your days away if you like.

But children have additional vulnerabilities when they interact with interactive and immersive screens; their brains and what psychologists call “reality testing”—the ability to discern what’s real and what isn’t—are not fully developed yet. That’s why researchers who study the effects of immersive and interactive video game experiences have coined the term “Game Transfer Phenomenon” (GTP)— a reality-blurring psychotic-like feature that young people who are chronic gamers experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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The future of Pokémon Go: more human interaction or advertisers’ top target?

Toby Barnes
14 August 2016

The game has built its success on a largely single-player experience – but to really leave a mark on players, developers should focus on the interpersonal angle

A location game overlaying the city, with players able to hunt monsters, capture stations, battle each other, build guilds. A virtual imagined world connected to the physical one by a database of locations and human “check-ins”.

It’s not Pokémon Go. It’s Chromaroma, from the UK games company Mudlark. And it’s not from this year. It was released in 2010.

Augmented reality games have been in development for the last 15 years, and I ran Mudlark from 2005 to 2011. Our biggest success was Chromaroma, which overlaid London and connected with players’ Oyster cards, letting people battle with fantastical weapons and armor. It was part Risk, part Monopoly, part Foursquare. But we made games and experiences – we called them mixed reality and transmedia – that, honestly, we struggled to explain to people.

Fast forward and the global hit Pokémon Go hits the “transmedia” sweet spot perfectly: a license that combines 90s game nostalgia, Japanese color palettes, full spectrum imagination and friendly competitiveness.

I asked my young son why he thinks the game has struck such a chord and he replied that he considered it the manifestation of every Pokémon player’s dreams. Perhaps not realizing what he was saying also applied to the game designers, he added: “The game is basically letting us all do the things we have been imagining for years.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The Pokémon Go influence on new tech

Dr. Roger Smith
Crunch Network

Pokémon Go has changed the trajectory of the world on a scale just slightly smaller than Google Search and Facebook, but still to a magnitude that will be felt through all industries in the coming years. To many, it looks like a very simple game that incorporates a few unique and compelling features. But this game has taken technologies from niche research and gaming communities and thrust them into the world’s consciousness.

Suddenly everyone understands what “augmented reality” means and how an artificial digital world can be mapped onto the real physical world. Neither of these is new, but they garnered little attention until they appeared in a concrete, compelling and simple free game for every cell phone in the country.

Augmented reality is a technique for layering data from one or more virtual worlds onto the real physical world. It has been demonstrated and used in military situation awareness and aircraft maintenance applications for years. But it has barely escaped these kinds of niche communities.

Overlaying virtual and physical worlds seemed like a plaything for nerds until it was coupled with the ubiquitous cell phone. Then it became a way of enhancing how we interact with everything on the planet, from entertainment and emergency response to education and healthcare, to name but a few. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is not just UMNO but the whole Malaysian nation which had been hit by the 1MDB scandal like being blasted by an “atomic bomb”, with the crowning ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”

I do not know whether the police will open an investigation paper under Section 506 of the Penal Code against the Shah Alam UMNO chief Zahari Shaari, who lamented this morning that the 1MDB scandal had hit UMNO like an “atomic bomb”.

This was what the Police did the last time an “atomic bomb” reference made news two months ago during the Kuala Kangsar by-election when the PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli said that if the AMANAH candidate, nuclear physicist Ahmad Termizi Ramli, was elected in the by-election, Termizi would be asked to hurl an “atomic bomb” at Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament.

Police reports were lodged against Rafizi and even an UMNO Minister admonished Rafizi for joking about an “atomic bomb”, although eventually nothing came out of the hullabaloo over Rafizi’s “atomic bomb” joke.

But Rafizi was joking while Zahari was deadly serious in comparing the after-effects of the 1MDB scandal to that of an mushrooming “atomic bomb” explosion. Read the rest of this entry »

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